Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

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March 11, 2014

Grant will help Ivy Tech offer classes to meet employers' needs

The Ivy Tech Foundation is the recipient of a $4.9 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., said Kelly Hauflaire, assistant vice president of marketing and communications. The grant is one of a series totaling nearly $63 million that the endowment awarded to 39 colleges and universities as part of its Initiative to Promote Opportunities Through Educational Collaborations.

Ivy Tech will use the grant to implement a four-year transformative set of strategies that better align the college’s degree and certificate programs with the needs of Indiana employers. These strategies will engage the entire academic institution, including Academic Affairs, Corporate College, Student/Career Services, Institutional Research, Foundation/Alumni Services and all Ivy Tech campuses and its constituents, along with an extensive array of business, education, economic and workforce development partners.

The initiative will contain three major components: regularly gathering and evaluating employer and student survey data; growing certificate and degree programs in demand by Hoosier employers, including the addition of a new automation and robotics technician degree designed in collaboration with auto manufacturing employers; and improving and increasing career planning, internships and job placements across Ivy Tech’s campuses.

Programs funded by this grant will impact major state labor market sectors, including information technology, manufacturing, logistics, automotive, health, business and others. Ivy Tech anticipates training, certifying and/or graduating 15,000 students with grant support; placing 80 to 90 percent of certificate and degree completers in jobs; impacting the lives of at least 36,000 students through career planning, internship and placement services; and improving communication and engagement with 150,000 constituents.

To ensure the successful implementation of these programs, Ivy Tech’s institutional research staff will create benchmarks and assist departments in monitoring metrics and outcomes and will oversee data evaluation efforts. The staff will repeat the National Association of Colleges and Employers survey of students nearing degree completion every other year and will facilitate a survey of employers and alumni every other year to monitor changes in attitudes and success. Researchers also will track student placement and earnings using the Workforce Intelligence System. Additionally, they will utilize the Ivy Tech Banner system to track student progress and student engagement with career services. Programs demonstrating success will be sustained long term to the extent that labor market demand persists.

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